Meet Mondula, our female African elephant...
Mondula (known affectionately as Mondy) is an elderly African elephant who has lived at Blair Drummond Safari Park since 1997. Prior to arriving at Blair Drummond, Mondy lived in Erfurt Zoo in Germany for 24 years.
Why is her skin all wrinkly?
Mondy has the skin of a mature elephant, and it’s perfectly normal that it’s a little bit baggy and wrinkly.
As part of her daily husbandry routine Mondy’s Keepers hose her skin with warm water, which in turn encourages her to use the mud wallow and dust bathe. This is her personal skin care routine and a natural behaviour observed in wild elephants.
Why does she stand still sometimes?
If you see Mondy standing still in her enclosure, often with her trunk resting on the ground, then she is probably just resting.
This can be confused with boredom or unhappiness but, don’t worry, it’s not a sign of either. Elephants can also sleep standing up and, although Mondy now chooses to lie down for her deep sleeps, she will usually remain standing for her short naps during the day.
Does Mondy get lonely?
Mondy is a content elephant with a good quality of life, and there is no indication that she is lonely.
We monitor her health and behaviour closely. She is very active and inquisitive and displays many natural behaviours such as foraging for food, digging, dust bathing and mud wallowing.
Mondy has lived at Blair Drummond Safari Park for a long time and she is very settled in her enclosure. She never developed strong social bonds with other elephants, but she has formed a close attachment with the team of Keepers who work with her, and they make sure she always has lots of interesting things to keep her busy and to stimulate her natural instincts.
Could you bring in another elephant for Mondy?
We investigated the possibility of bringing in another female elephant to live with Mondy and concluded that this was not a viable option.
Elephants are very caring towards their family members but can be quite unkind to non-family members. It is difficult to introduce non-related elephants to one another, especially when they get a bit older and with Mondy this is an even bigger issue because she does not have the social skills she’d need to get on well with other elephants.
From the captive population of African Elephants in Europe there were only two identified as potential companions for Mondy. Both were given due consideration, but neither were deemed compatible.
Mondy’s welfare was our top priority when considering the suitability of potential companions.
Will you move Mondy to another collection?
We are not actively searching to re-home Mondy, but if a suitable opportunity arose and we felt was in her best interests, then we would certainly give it due consideration.
There would be many factors to think about before deciding to rehome Mondy. Aside from the compatibility of the new environment and any companion, it would also be important to minimise travel time as the transportation of older elephants can often be very stressful.